Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

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Albert R
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#151 Post by Albert R »

Sorry about your Dad! May he RIP.
Get some help Brian. Your back and health are worth it. During these times you need to stay away from hospitals if at all possible.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#152 Post by alan weinberg »

Sorry for your loss.

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#153 Post by Rodrigo B »

Sorry to hear about your dad Brian, but it's nice to hear you managed to spend a bit of time with him at the end. Hopefully it was as painless and comfortable as possible. RIP
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#154 Post by T Welch »

Condolences on your loss Brian.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#155 Post by Ed Steinway »

Condolences to you and the family, Brian. Glad you were able to spend some time with him on his last birthday. RIP.

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#156 Post by mattcitrang »

Sorry for your loss. May your dad RIP.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#157 Post by Brian Tuite »

P@squ@le A wrote: September 5th, 2021, 8:45 am Sorry for your loss!
Would it not have been quicker/easier/less costly to have poured more of the walls, as it looks looks like you will be grouting the block anyways?
Quicker, easier, 5x the cost.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#158 Post by Brian Tuite »

Thanks for the kind words guys. We were together as a family for his final 3 days, it really boosted him for a time. He passed quietly in his sleep.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#159 Post by Dennis Borczon »

Brian Tuite wrote: September 5th, 2021, 8:13 pm Thanks for the kind words guys. We were together as a family for his final 3 days, it really boosted him for a time. He passed quietly in his sleep.
Is there a better end to this life we have? I wonder if it is a blessing to have a project like this to work on during a time of reflection. Kind of like a memorial to your dad...

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#160 Post by Brian Tuite »

Dennis Borczon wrote: September 6th, 2021, 4:20 am
Brian Tuite wrote: September 5th, 2021, 8:13 pm Thanks for the kind words guys. We were together as a family for his final 3 days, it really boosted him for a time. He passed quietly in his sleep.
Is there a better end to this life we have? I wonder if it is a blessing to have a project like this to work on during a time of reflection. Kind of like a memorial to your dad...
You know, I’ve been thinking of the same thing. How to incorporate his memory into this project. It’ll give me something to think about while I toil through it.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#161 Post by Tom R W »

Sorry about your dad, Brian. It’s nice that you were able to have what sounded like a memorable visit with him the other month and then see him again before he passed away. I’m really sorry.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#162 Post by Brian Tuite »

Got another bond beam row in plus I finished 3 stairs. Started backfilling behind the staircase to improve access. Time to make the walls taller. Tough to keep the mortar wet in the warm temps, was in mid-90s all weekend. Lots of cutting, drilling, bending, mixing, lugging. I have a new appreciation for people who do this for a living.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#163 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

Condolences for your loss. Glad your family was able to spend time with him.

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#164 Post by Richard Foxall »

My back hurts just looking at all those cinder blocks.

I've conveyed my condolences by other means as well, but Deb and I have been thinking about you a lot. I might have a chance to take a little time off, so let's consider getting together and toasting your father. Maybe a meal out in your area? A visit to one of our winemaker friends?

I wish I had done more to document the building of my "cellar," but now? I would just feel like a piker and a chump.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#165 Post by Gene M. »

Brian,
Progress ahead with the weather cooling. I have fond memories of the offline and wonderful wines/commaradarie.

Sorry, I've been out for a while with personal stuff so I dont post much. Very solemn and sad to hear about your father. I know I was grateful to spend time with my mom (I moved from Fl to Ca in 88 to take care of her), my dad and brother before they passed

Kind regards - G
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#166 Post by John Morris »

I love watching your progress, Brian!
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#167 Post by Rob_S »

Dennis Borczon wrote: September 6th, 2021, 4:20 am
Brian Tuite wrote: September 5th, 2021, 8:13 pm Thanks for the kind words guys. We were together as a family for his final 3 days, it really boosted him for a time. He passed quietly in his sleep.
Is there a better end to this life we have? I wonder if it is a blessing to have a project like this to work on during a time of reflection. Kind of like a memorial to your dad...
Condolences for you loss Brian.

My dad passed a year and a bit ago. told the nurse he was tired, she told him to close his eyes and have a nap and that was that. That kind of passing has made my grief a lot easier. It will never be easy but it is a blessing.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#168 Post by Brian Tuite »

John Morris wrote: September 9th, 2021, 11:53 am I love watching your progress, Brian!
You’re the one who asked for more pictures so I hope so! Thanks.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#169 Post by alan weinberg »

John Morris wrote: September 9th, 2021, 11:53 am I love watching your progress, Brian!
and with amazement, I might add.

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#170 Post by Alex N »

Seriously, it's lots of fun watching this cellar take shape. You could probably stop posting pics, install a credit card operated turnstile at the entrance - tastings, tours, and fund the project. But please keep the pics coming [snort.gif]
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#171 Post by Rodrigo B »

Alex N wrote: September 9th, 2021, 9:10 pm Seriously, it's lots of fun watching this cellar take shape. You could probably stop posting pics, install a credit card operated turnstile at the entrance - tastings, tours, and fund the project. But please keep the pics coming [snort.gif]
No need for credit cards, pretty sure Brian only accepts payment in Flannery [wink.gif]
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#172 Post by Brian Tuite »

One more weekend in the books. Did more work on the stairs, ran out of caps so had to stop. Needed an area to put a landing before the stairs turn so I did some digging, filled with road base, built a form and will pour concrete on top of the base so I have a foundation for the remainder of the blocks. Started backfilling a little behind the form. Almost have the soil to original grade and was able to relieve some of the soil piled up around my work.
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Then I hired Miguel who knows how to lay block. He got the first three courses atop my concrete wall in about 6hrs. Would have taken me 6 days. He’ll be back next Sunday for 3 more courses (baby shower here Saturday) then the weekend after that he’ll finish and I can then fill them with concrete. Progress!

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#173 Post by Richard Foxall »

Miguel is a good person to know, clearly.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#174 Post by Brian Tuite »

Richard Foxall wrote: September 13th, 2021, 4:31 pm Miguel is a good person to know, clearly.
I whole-heartedly agree with you on this one.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#175 Post by alan weinberg »

did Miguel show up? Where are the pix? Update!

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#176 Post by Brian Tuite »

alan weinberg wrote: September 20th, 2021, 9:12 pm did Miguel show up? Where are the pix? Update!

Patience Grasshopper! I wasn’t planning on updating for another week.

We threw a baby shower on Saturday and then it rained all night. Miguel arrived Sunday morning and we had to build him some scaffolding. He then worked on the walls as I moved another delivery of block, rebar and concrete from the front to the backyard. I also did a little digging to square up the area where I need to pour concrete for the landing where my staircase turns.

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The top of the doorway opening is nuts on level!
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Miguel ran three more courses and part of a 4th around the entrance. Then we formed up for a header, reinforced with rebar, tied it all in with the wall and filled it and the adjoining cells of the wall with concrete.

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Yesterday I pulled the forms loose in the morning. In the afternoon when I got home from work I put the first coat of liquid rubber on the outside of the previous weeks work. I’ll continue that this week. Saturday Miguel returns to finish laying block. If all goes as planned I’ll then be able to pour concrete for my stairs on Sunday. I also will need to schedule the concrete pumper to come out to fill the walls once the staircase border is in place.

I’ve made an executive decision to lower the ceiling in my cellar by 8” from 96” to 88” by running 1 fewer course of block. My racking will only be 7’ so the airspace above was wasted anyhow. This will bring the top of the foundation wall to a more reasonable height with regards to the existing grade. This means 2 courses Saturday to complete the walls.

This morning with the forms pulled and the walls sealed (1st coat).

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Last edited by Brian Tuite on September 21st, 2021, 8:42 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#177 Post by Jeff Vaughan »

Brian, I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. Don't be surprised if the top of your racks become shelving. I ended up with wood cases, boxes, magnums, etc. on mine when everything else got full.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#178 Post by Brian Tuite »

Jeff Vaughan wrote: September 21st, 2021, 6:56 am Brian, I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. Don't be surprised if the top of your racks become shelving. I ended up with wood cases, boxes, magnums, etc. on mine when everything else got full.
Luckily no wood boxes here although they could easily sit on the floor if I had any. I only have a handful of magnums so I’ll have a row for them in my racking. I appreciate the input.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#179 Post by ClarkstonMark »

nominating this for thread of the year
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#180 Post by AndrewH »

Brian Tuite wrote: September 21st, 2021, 7:53 am
Jeff Vaughan wrote: September 21st, 2021, 6:56 am Brian, I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. Don't be surprised if the top of your racks become shelving. I ended up with wood cases, boxes, magnums, etc. on mine when everything else got full.
Luckily no wood boxes here although they could easily sit on the floor if I had any. I only have a handful of magnums so I’ll have a row for them in my racking. I appreciate the input.
I have no doubt you've thought all this through, but about space for light fixtures and such on the ceiling (and above your head)? (Says the guy with ceilings that are about 7'4", but underneath joists that allowed recessed lighting).
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#181 Post by Brian Tuite »

AndrewH wrote: September 21st, 2021, 10:20 am
Brian Tuite wrote: September 21st, 2021, 7:53 am
Jeff Vaughan wrote: September 21st, 2021, 6:56 am Brian, I am thoroughly enjoying this thread. Don't be surprised if the top of your racks become shelving. I ended up with wood cases, boxes, magnums, etc. on mine when everything else got full.
Luckily no wood boxes here although they could easily sit on the floor if I had any. I only have a handful of magnums so I’ll have a row for them in my racking. I appreciate the input.
I have no doubt you've thought all this through, but about space for light fixtures and such on the ceiling (and above your head)? (Says the guy with ceilings that are about 7'4", but underneath joists that allowed recessed lighting).
My ceiling joists will be below the ceiling rather than above because the cavity above will be filled with closed cell spray foam insulation.
While I have yet to pick lighting fixtures this has been something I am prepared for.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#182 Post by ChrisJames »

Brian,

I've loved reading this thread, but it only addresses the wine cellar aspect. How does the root cellar element fit in? This is a question dear to my heart as I have dozens of pounds each of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and beets to work through every year before they rot or start sprouting. A cool garage only works for so long. However, I am not sure if I would want to put unwashed root vegetables in the same space as pristine wine bottles.

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#183 Post by Brian Tuite »

ChrisJames wrote: September 21st, 2021, 11:42 am Brian,

I've loved reading this thread, but it only addresses the wine cellar aspect. How does the root cellar element fit in? This is a question dear to my heart as I have dozens of pounds each of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and beets to work through every year before they rot or start sprouting. A cool garage only works for so long. However, I am not sure if I would want to put unwashed root vegetables in the same space as pristine wine bottles.
Why not? Is the dirt going to jump off the potatoes wander across the cellar floor, jump up on the wine bottles and then wriggle its way under the capsule and past the cork?
newhere but I don’t think so.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#184 Post by JohnP »

ClarkstonMark wrote: September 21st, 2021, 9:59 am nominating this for thread of the year
+1

I'm very much looking forward to seeing finished. Keep up the good work [cheers.gif]
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#185 Post by ChrisJames »

Brian Tuite wrote: September 21st, 2021, 2:41 pm
ChrisJames wrote: September 21st, 2021, 11:42 am Brian,

I've loved reading this thread, but it only addresses the wine cellar aspect. How does the root cellar element fit in? This is a question dear to my heart as I have dozens of pounds each of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and beets to work through every year before they rot or start sprouting. A cool garage only works for so long. However, I am not sure if I would want to put unwashed root vegetables in the same space as pristine wine bottles.
Why not? Is the dirt going to jump off the potatoes wander across the cellar floor, jump up on the wine bottles and then wriggle its way under the capsule and past the cork?
newhere but I don’t think so.
I was thinking more of potential mold growth on the labels. So you are planning one side for wine racks and the other for root bins?

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#186 Post by Brian Tuite »

ChrisJames wrote: September 21st, 2021, 3:51 pm
Brian Tuite wrote: September 21st, 2021, 2:41 pm
ChrisJames wrote: September 21st, 2021, 11:42 am Brian,

I've loved reading this thread, but it only addresses the wine cellar aspect. How does the root cellar element fit in? This is a question dear to my heart as I have dozens of pounds each of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and beets to work through every year before they rot or start sprouting. A cool garage only works for so long. However, I am not sure if I would want to put unwashed root vegetables in the same space as pristine wine bottles.
Why not? Is the dirt going to jump off the potatoes wander across the cellar floor, jump up on the wine bottles and then wriggle its way under the capsule and past the cork?
newhere but I don’t think so.
I was thinking more of potential mold growth on the labels. So you are planning one side for wine racks and the other for root bins?
Do you think some root vegetables are going to change the humidity level in the cellar that much? We are talking 770 ft.³ of air space.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#187 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

The cheese cellar thread tangentially addressed this viewtopic.php?f=6&t=182988

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#188 Post by Ed Steinway »

Brian, your cellar really looks great! Fantastic and impressive work all around. [cheers.gif]



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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#189 Post by Brian Tuite »

Tom G l a s g o w wrote: September 21st, 2021, 5:00 pm The cheese cellar thread tangentially addressed this viewtopic.php?f=6&t=182988
Kind of, but that was in regards to the cheese aging properly not if it affects the wine bottles.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#190 Post by Brian Tuite »

Ed Steinway wrote: September 21st, 2021, 5:43 pm Brian, your cellar really looks great! Fantastic and impressive work all around. [cheers.gif]



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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#191 Post by Brian Tuite »

ChrisJames wrote: September 21st, 2021, 3:51 pm So you are planning one side for wine racks and the other for root bins?
Sorry, I missed that question. I’m thinking a horseshoe shaped wine cellar and root veggie bins close to the door in both corners.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#192 Post by Ed Steinway »

Brian Tuite wrote:
Remember, you were among the first there to spit in the drain! [berserker.gif]
It was an honor!

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#193 Post by Brian Tuite »

Ed Steinway wrote: September 21st, 2021, 6:32 pm
Brian Tuite wrote:
Remember, you were among the first there to spit in the drain! [berserker.gif]
It was an honor!
[rofl.gif]
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#194 Post by AndrewH »

Brian Tuite wrote: September 21st, 2021, 4:18 pm
ChrisJames wrote: September 21st, 2021, 3:51 pm
Brian Tuite wrote: September 21st, 2021, 2:41 pm

Why not? Is the dirt going to jump off the potatoes wander across the cellar floor, jump up on the wine bottles and then wriggle its way under the capsule and past the cork?
newhere but I don’t think so.
I was thinking more of potential mold growth on the labels. So you are planning one side for wine racks and the other for root bins?
Do you think some root vegetables are going to change the humidity level in the cellar that much? We are talking 770 ft.³ of air space.
Given how dry california is I suspect it would help raise humidity to a good level not tip it past 80%+. If it spreads mold it's more likely because the vegetables harbor mold spores when brought into the cellar.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#195 Post by T. Altmayer »

Just seeing this thread, sorry for you loss Brian.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#196 Post by Richard Foxall »

I think you'll have room on top of the racks for single layer OWCs if you need/want them. I have a similar set up. I don't want 12 bottle boxes up there, too heavy. And while it might be a little cramped for the Bol family, there will be room for lighting as long as you don't want pendants or chandeliers. Ignore the critics!

If you do want OWCs, I have extras and a ready supply.

Brian lives in an area that gets more rain than some parts of California, but moisture isn't going to be the problem that it would be elsewhere. The bigger problem for the corks is keeping humidity high enough.

Finally, you can also cure duck prosciutto in there! https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/101 ... prosciutto
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#197 Post by Brian Tuite »

Miguel had the day off today so he finished up his work.

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#198 Post by alan weinberg »

Miguel is a stud.

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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#199 Post by dsimmons »

Richard Foxall wrote: September 23rd, 2021, 3:00 pm The bigger problem for the corks is keeping humidity high enough.

Based on my 25 years with a very dry passive cellar, low humidity has never caused a problem.
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Re: Building a subterranean wine cellar/root cellar

#200 Post by Brian Tuite »

No more Miguel. I’m on my own but things are moving smoother than before he came. I watched him
work and took copious notes.

Today I cut and tied a bunch of rebar, laid more block alongside the stairs and set some more stair treads. The walls are now to grade. The latter required a trip to Home Depot to buy 65 16x8x2 caps. The pallet was on the second shelf and was taken apart like a freaking Jenga. I could not remove a single piece without something from above toppling down. Typical HD. Borrowed a cement mixer from my neighbor. Tomorrow I mix and pour concrete.

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